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Army troops recover firearms in Sorsogon

Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and Army troops clashed early morning Sunday in the remote village of Tinampo in Bulan, Sorsogon, according to Col. Felix Castro, commander of the Army’s 903rd Infantry Brigade based in Castilla town in Sorsogon.

The Army was tipped off about the presence of some 10 NPA rebels in that village, who were in the area to allegedly extort from villagers, Castro told the Inquirer.

He said he ordered Lt. Col. Epimaco Macalisang of the 49th Infantry Battalion, the unit covering the second district of Sorsogon where the encounter happened, to dispatch a team to pursue the NPA rebels.

He said a seven-man team led by Lt. Jerry Colago caught up with the NPA rebels at about

7 a.m. Sunday, and a 10-minute firefight ensued and the rebels fled.

Castro said the Army troops recovered one M16 rifle, Garand rifle, caliber 45 pistol and an improvised detonating device left behind by the fleeing rebels.

He said no one was hurt on the side of the Army but suspected there were injured rebels based on the bloodstains found in the clash site.

He said a hot pursuit operation was being conducted even as he assured residents that they could have a safe and peaceful All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the area.

In Cagayan province, four suspected NPA rebels were killed in a gunbattle with the government soldiers at 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 27 in Sitio Barang in Barangay San Miguel in Baggao town, said Col. Loreto Magundayao, battalion chief of the 5th Infantry Division’s (ID) civil-military operations.

Magundayao said an Army platoon from the 5th ID reconnaissance team encountered 10 armed men, who were believed to be part of the NPA’s Danilo Ben Command operating in the area. He said the 30-minute gunbattle left no government casualties. Recovered from the encounter site were two M-16 Armalite rifles and a shotgun. Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon and Juan Escandor Jr. and Rey Nasol, Inquirer Southern Luzon



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